George Padmore Plaque
Date of Installation: June 2011
Location:22 Cranleigh St, Camden, NW1, 2BD
George Padmore (28 June 1903 – 23 September 1959), born Malcolm Ivan Meredith Nurse in Trinidad and Tobago, was a leading Pan-Africanist, journalist, and author. He worked as a journalist until 1924 then left for university in the USA, intending to study medicine. However, he changed his mind, switching to political science and then to law at Howard University. However, he did not complete his degree, as the Communist Party, which he had joined in 1927, sent him to Moscow. There he served on the Moscow Council before being sent to Vienna then Hamburg on Party affairs. However, with the lead up to WW2, the USSR’s politics on western colonialism changed and a disillusioned Padmore resigned from the Communist Party. Padmore lived for a time in France, before settling in London, where he continued his work as an anti-imperialist and pro-equality journalist writing for African, African-American and Caribbean newspapers, and publishing books and newspapers in the UK. In 1945, he was the main organizer of the legendary Fifth Pan African Congress to campaign for independence for all colonies.
When Ghana became the first West African colony to gain independence in 1957 Padmore moved to Ghana to take up the position of Advisor on African Affairs to Nkrumah, now the first president of the independent country. George Padmore died after a short illness in London on September 23, 1959, where he’d gone to receive medical treatment.
Toward the end of his life he moved to Accra, Ghana, where he helped shape the politics of Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People's Party.
He was commemorated with a heritage plaque in North London. Cranleigh Street in Camden where George Padmore lived at no. 22 from 1941 to 1957 with his partner and collaborator, Dorothy Pizer. The address was a big part of the political landscape of pre- and post-war London, becoming a focal point for anti-colonial activists from around the world
The George Padmore Blue Plaque was organized in collaboration with High Commissions of Trinidad & Tobago and Ghana respectively, and Camden Council. It was unveiled 98 years to the day that Padmore was born. The unveiling was performed by His Excellency Garvin Nicholas - High Commissioner of Trinidad & Tobago, His Excellency Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo - High Commissioner of Ghana, His Worship Councillor Abdul Quadir - Mayor of Camden, and Jak Beula, along with members of the public and press.
“Ghana is privileged and honoured to be contributing to the commemoration of a true African patriot, a selfless and a pioneer pan Africanist.” His Excellency, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, High Commissioner for Ghana
“Trinidad and Tobago is honoured to acknowledge the tremendous contribution made by George Padmore to international struggles for freedom, equality and independence. He was a man of vision, courage and commitment and an exemplary son of the soil” His Excellency, Garvin Nicholas, High Commissioner for Trinidad & Tobago
“It is a real honour to be involved in commemorating a great African Caribbean in the truest sense. George Padmore campaigned tirelessly for global equality and African autonomy, and he was one of the catalysts for the decolonization of postwar Africa and the Caribbean.
“It gives me great pleasure to commemorate George Padmore. George, a former Camden resident, is widely recognised as one of the most influential political thinkers of the 20th century. I hope this plaque will remind people of his life’s achievements and serve as an inspiration to local people.”Councillor Abdul Quadir, Mayor of Camden
"Padmore’s vision was of a world unburdened from the arrogance and tribulation of empires and dedicated to equality, solidarity and hope. We have named our Institute after George Padmore as we see it continuing the traditions which shaped his life – independent, radical vision and outlook connecting the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.”5) Dr Aggrey Burke, vice chair of George Padmore Institute.
“George Padmore was absolutely crucial to the struggle for respect, equality, freedom and independence by all colonised peoples, but especially Africans and those of African descent, from the 1930s until his premature death in 1959.” Marika Sherwood, Co-founder of BASA (Black and Asian Studies Group)